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Which Computer is Best for Business Travellers?

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 26 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Computer Lap Top Business Travellers

The phrase 'business travellers' covers a wide variety of people and it's not unlikely that the perfect computer for one person will be horrific for another. But it’s likely that the key things a business traveller will be looking for in a computer are not the number of megabytes of RAM or gigabytes of storage. The key metrics for the perfect laptop for a business traveller are weight, size, quietness and battery life as these are the things that make a computer usable as well as portable.

What Do Business Travellers Really Need From a Computer?

Even this is not completely true. Some business travellers are out there because they need to demonstrate intensive software that they are selling, or using as part of their pitch, and it's essential that they have fast number-crunching CPUs, load of RAM and fast disks.

But for the majority of business travellers, although they might like to be sporting the latest fastest beast, the reality is that if they don't really need it. If all they are doing is keeping in touch with email and through the web, manipulating spreadsheets and documents, and displaying presentations, then even the humblest laptop computer on the market will do that satisfactorily.

Small and Light Computers Recently Became Desirable

Recently this has been recognised and although small, light, very portable laptop computers have been available for over fifteen years, there is now a change in what's available, as memory storage has become cheap enough to begin to replace hard disks. Using the sort of memory that is used in USB memory instead of a hard disk means faster and quieter access and, crucially, a cooler running laptop.

Heat generated by laptops can be quite uncomfortable if they are literally on a business travellers' lap and the use of solid state memory (as it's known) instead of hard disks means there's no need for a motor to spin the disk, which helps to make computers lighter, quieter and cooler. They are also more robust as there are no moving parts, so dropping the laptop may not be as crucial as before.

As a side benefit this also means that not so much electrical power is needed, as there's no hard disk motor and no fan (or at lease a much smaller one) so batteries should last longer. One manufacturer has recently been bold enough to claim that they have developed a laptop that will run for twenty-four hours without recharging. As solid state hard disks are something new, they have begun to make smaller and lighter PCs something to be coveted rather than looked on with disdain.

Business Travellers Need Well-Connected Computers

Connectivity is important for business travellers' computers too. With Wi-Fi hotspots beginning to become more widely available, particularly in those staple habitats of the business traveller, the hotel and the airport, it's important that a computer has Wi-Fi, although it can be added to a computer using a USB, PC Card or CF card adapter. Bluetooth is also desirable so that the computer can be connected to mobile phones and other devices such as PDAs.

A standard wired network port is needed too, for connecting to wired networks in offices, it's not wise to assume that Wi-Fi will be available everywhere. Although modems are being superseded by broadband, it's worth having one (and the cable, of course!) for places where broadband isn't available.

It's Getting Easier to Operate Your Computer Too

At one time you had to become an IT genius as well as a road warrior to be able to work out and configure all these data connectivity options, But newer versions of operating systems, be they Mac or Windows, have made great strides in making it easier for business travellers to connect all these things together without a degree in IT.

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